Awareness of cervical and prostate cancer

20 September 2018

SouthSeas Healthcare registered nurses Irata Passi and Alaviola Onosa'i attending the cervical smear promotion

Cancer screening is an important component of South Seas Healthcare work.

Pacific families in South Auckland were encouraged to visit the South Seas clinic for cervical and prostate cancer checks as part of prevention and early detection awareness.

Prostate cancer is considered to be New Zealand's most commonly registered cancer, having more cases and being among the top five most common causes of cancer deaths.

South Seas Healthcare strives to provide information and care to Pacific women and men living in South Auckland, along with their families, as part of their cancer awareness campaign.

Health reports recorded the number of Pacific women not being screened for cervical cancer as high in comparison to other ethnicities. South Seas Healthcare is trying to encourage more South Auckland women to visit the clinic.

SouthSeas Healthcare Clinic Nurse Team Leader Irata Passi says smear tests are simple. They are done by a smear taker, who is usually a female doctor and/or a female practice nurse.

“For cervical cancer screening, we recommend to our patients having checks every three years (if normal) and they are between the ages of 25-69 years old.  Pacific Islanders are identified by the Ministry of Health as one of the three priority ethnic groups, along with Maori and Asians.”

Irata says SouthSeas urges more Pacific women to visit the clinic. However, it is up to them to take responsibility for their health and regular screening activities. All we can do is to encourage them to come in for regular screening.

The cervical screening programme is largely provided through General Practice, Family Planning and Sexual health services.

Whether it is cervical or prostate screening, the South Seas awareness campaign is making the topic part of the everyday conversations with their patients.

From a health care perspective, our awareness programme aims to ensure people are aware of their screening status.

“If women are unsure when they last had a smear test, or a male last had a prostate check-up, please ring and talk to us.”

“Where cost is a barrier, there are options available and we are happy to discuss these with you.” says Irata.

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